5.9/10
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12 user 2 critic

Speed (1936)

Passed | | Action, Drama, Romance | 8 May 1936 (USA)
With the help of his mechanic buddy, an engineer, and the company's attractive new publicist, an automotive test driver struggles to develop a new carburetor by entering cars in the Indy 500 and speed trials at California's Muroc Dry Lake.

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Writers:

(story), (story) (as Larry Bachman) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Terry Martin
...
Jane Mitchell
...
Josephine Sanderson
...
Frank Lawson
...
Gadget
...
Mr. Dean
...
Fanny Lane
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Storyline

Terry is the chief car tester for Emery Motors and Frank is an Engineer. Jane has just been hired to work in publicity. Frank and Terry both want Jane to be their girl. Terry has designed a new carburetor that should bring him fame and money, but he cannot get it to work correctly. Terry and Gadget have tested it for over a year, but it still is not perfected. Emery Motors assigns Frank to help Terry with the carburetor, but Terry is not happy because Frank is an Engineer and is also vying for Jane. They finish the carburetor, and to test it, they enter a car in the Indianapolis 500 race. Terry is not yet satisfied with the carburetor before the big race even though it has passed all the tests. Written by Tony Fontana <tony.fontana@spacebbs.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A mile a minute of fun and thrills! See more »

Genres:

Action | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

8 May 1936 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La prueba suprema  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Archive footage of an actual Indianapolis 500 race is included in the movie. See more »

Goofs

The new 1936 cars produced by the fictional Emery Motors Co. are seen coming down the assembly line with large 'Plymouth' placards in the rear door windows. See more »

Quotes

Mr. Dean: If Miss Mitchell were a boy who would someday inherit 52% of the company, everyone would applaud her for coming out to learn things from the bottom. Well, a girl can have horse sense too!
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Connections

References Exclusive Story (1936) See more »

Soundtracks

Pop! Goes the Weasel
Traditional 17th century English song
Played and sung by the band at the barn dance for dance music
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User Reviews

 
Fast-paced driver drama lacks levity
1 April 2014 | by (Minnesota) – See all my reviews

Jimmy Stewart may be only an automobile tester right now, but he's got plans: "I'm not always gonna be a mug with cylinder oil in my hair," he vows.

While he spends his working days racing, flipping and crashing test cars, he is also working on a new carburetor design that he is sure will make his mark. Unfortunately, he's having trouble perfecting the carburetor…will the company bigwigs force him to take on help from the snooty engineering department?

Stewart's ambitions and frustrations make up one part of the plot; the other half of the story is a romantic drama involving publicity agent Wendy Barrie, newly promoted auto executive Una Merkel, and bland auto engineer Weldon Heyburn, whom Stewart considers a rival both professionally and romantically but who is really not a bad guy after all.

The first fifteen minutes of the picture offer a great tour of the automobile factory where these characters all work. It's basically a commercial for the auto industry, and a pretty neat look at the inside of a production plant, circa 1936.

With this cast, you would expect some good laughs or at least plenty of snappy dialog delivery; unfortunately, the tone is fairly grim and the screenplay pretty dry. We do get a bit of comic relief from Ted Healy as Stewart's friend and sidekick; but it sure seems a shame to have both Barrie and Merkel—two really excellent comic talents—go practically a whole movie with no wisecracks!

The production is slick and includes some impressive footage from testing grounds and racetracks. And Stewart definitely shows some charisma, even though his character is so stubborn and self-pitying that it's hard to root for him completely.

Overall, it's easy to watch but probably should have been better.


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